Monday, August 21, 2017

Mirror, Mirror, Hanging In the Sky

Today, something amazing happened, and I got to see it!
A few months ago, Kurtis surprised me by telling me that there was going to be a solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Then he surprised me even more by telling me he wanted to go see it.
We got our eclipse glasses and eagerly awaited the day the eclipse would arrive. Then his boss told him that there was going to be construction in Idaho and we would be in bumper to bumper traffic for a long, long time. Because everyone is going to go! We decided we would travel 6 hours to Ontario, Oregon. Then Kurtis started watching and reading news posts about how this was basically going to turn into the apocalypse. We would be stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, and the gas stations wouldn't have any gas, and we would be stuck in Idaho for who knows how long! It was terrifying. Suddenly he was anxious and talking himself out of going at all. 
I said, "No! This was your idea! We have to go. It will be awesome!"
We changed our plans. We would still leave super early, but instead of driving 6 hours (he was convinced it would be 12) to Oregon, we would drive 3 hours to Idaho Falls. Then he watched more news and read more articles about that chosen route and freaked out again. We settled on Shelley, Idaho. It was still in the Path of Totality, but not so far north as Idaho Falls. 
This morning, we woke up at 3 am and got ourselves ready to leave. We packed a cooler full of drinks and a cooler full of lunch food. We also packed a cooler full of drinks special for lunch and promptly forgot to put it in the car. By 4:30, we were on the road! Kurtis wanted to stop in Brigham City for gas. We didn't need to stop, so we thought, we'll stop in Tremonton for breakfast. It was 5 am. The boys were asleep in the backseat (except Riley), so we decided we would keep driving. We made it to Pocatello by 6:30 am and stopped at a cute cafe across from Idaho State University for breakfast.
We made it to Shelley by 8:05 am. It did not take us 6 hours to get there. We stopped at a place fishermen could park their cars next to the Snake River, but after a few minutes, I realized there weren't any bathrooms there, so we needed to find another place. We found a park super close to our original parking space and stopped there instead. Then we waited. And waited. Zach fell asleep because 3:30 is not his favorite time to wake up. He claims he actually woke up at 1, but couldn't sleep, so he gave up and just played on his phone. Well, I get that. I couldn't sleep either and maybe got 20 minutes last night. I played Candy Crush.
I tried to sleep at the park, too. Ten minutes later, I woke up. So Riley and Kaleb brought out the candy and we ate a bit of that. It was such a beautiful day! Kurtis stayed in the car and read until Kaleb told him to play badminton with him (we brought our rackets and shuttlecocks). 
At 10:15, the show started. The moon slowly started to cover up the sun. I loved watching it. I loved it. At 11:33, we had totality for about a minute, and Kaleb shouted, "That was the best thing I have ever seen in my entire life!"
So you see. Some things are worth risking the apocalypse for. It was amazing and completely awesome. I want to see another one. Also, we were fine driving home. Traffic was not great in the beginning (for maybe the first 20 minutes), but after we got on the freeway, we were going freeway speeds. We ate lunch at the park after, and left about 12:30. We were on the freeway by 12:40 and then the slow and go was minimal after that. Don't talk yourself out of doing epic things. They are epic for a reason. The next total eclipse will be in 2045. You can bet future 70-year-old me will be watching.
I took pictures. They aren't awesome or anything because I didn't have a cool filter for my camera. But here they are:

 This is the cute cafe where we ate breakfast.

 Kaleb hides behind Riley as they avoid the camera.

 Sleeping beast.

 Just some scenery.

 Kaleb, playing badminton.

 Kurtis, hitting the shuttlecock. It's in the air on the right.

 Once the eclipse started, I had Riley hold my eclipse glasses over the camera lens to see what would happen. That little tiny orange dot is the sun.

 The eclipse is happening!

 It's getting closer!

 Totality achieved!!!

 Zoomed out view.

 It looked like the sun had set during totality.

 It was so beautiful.

Zoomed all the way (as far as my camera would zoom). I kinda think it's red because it might be the same kind of thing that happens when you get red eye. I don't really know though. I could be wrong.

Another cool thing we noticed. The light that filtered through the leaves of the tree we were sitting under created little eclipse shadows on our blankets and Zach's sketch book. It was so cool!

Well, that was our adventure for this summer!
School starts Wednesday!

And now, for your listening enjoyment:

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Picking Out All the Stars That We Like

August. This August brought soccer, school shopping, school starting, and my sister dropping off her daughter (my niece) at college.  They made a family trip out of it because they live in another state, so I got to hang with them a little bit.
We went to the Spiral Jetty at sunset, so we could look at the stars.  It was amazing.  I took a bunch of pictures. Maybe too many pictures.  I think I will have to break their visit into more than one post...

 The first thing I saw when I got out of my car was this little guy.
He should be famous.

 This is the Spiral Jetty!

 All the kids immediately started heading for the Great Salt Lake.

 Ben and Jayden walked the spiral.

 That's Kurtis on the left and a bunch of the kids on the left.

 My sister and my niece.

 My nephew.

 Footprints in the salty sand.

 A dead bird!

 Kaleb and my nephew.

 Zach and Kurtis.

 Two more of my nephews and their neighbor who also needed to be dropped off at college.

 Riley and Emily (my other sister).

 It's beautiful.

 And the water looked pink.

I tried to take a photo of the stars, but it didn't really work. But if you click on this picture an make it larger, you will see something.
I love looking at the sky, the stars, the moon, the clouds.  It's beautiful.  It's never the same.  You can't just say, "I'll watch the sunset tomorrow.  It's always the same."  Because it isn't.  And it's amazing every time.

And now for your listening pleasure:
One of my favorites.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Pals Who Live In the Oceans and the Seas

I have been wanting to visit the Living Planet Aquarium for a very long time now.  It has moved from its smaller building to a new and much larger building (a long time ago), and I have been wanting to see the new place!  So my bestest friend Nicole and I decided we should take our kid together.  That will be fun! Her oldest son ended up staying home, but she brought her three daughters.
My kids were all like, I don't want to go! And Kaleb complained because he had already been there twice on school field trips.  Well, boo hoo!  I didn't care and took them anyway. Because summer was almost over and it was on my bucket list.  Seriously, I believe I got to do one thing on my bucket list this summer.  And I only had three things on it!

 If you look closely at this photo, you will see just how thrilled they are to be there.

 He had fun.  He just has to be cool.  You know, because he's a teenager now.  Don't call him a kid.  He doesn't like it.  Neither did I when I was his age.

 The frogs are my favorite.  I love frogs.

 I took a selfie, so you would know I was actually there. ;)

 Riley got a fun lecture about letting me take his picture when we go places.  Because when we go places (and we rarely go places), I am going to want to take his picture and he is going to let me and he is going to be nice about it because I am him mom.

 We ended our trip with some Panda Express and went home.  I love everything about that place though.  Except the price of admission. ;)  I had fun.  I think they did, too.  Even if they don't want to admit it.

And now, for your listening enjoyment: